Murrieta: Vista Murrieta Band Wins the John Phillip Sousa Foundation’s 2016 Sudler Shield Award

On Thursday, June 1, at 7:00 p.m. Vista Murrieta High School’s Marching Band will receive the  John Phillip Sousa Foundation’s 2016 Sudler Shield Award, an international award recognizing standards of world-class excellence for marching bands. Only 75 bands from around the world have received the award, which is the equivalent of an international lifetime achievement award.

The award will be presented in the school’s performing arts center along with a concert. Vista Murrieta High School’s Marching Band and Color Guard had an award-winning year starting in October when the band won first place at the Bands of America Regional Championships in Long Beach.

At the Regional Championships, they also won awards for outstanding Music Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance and Outstanding General Effect. With the second highest music score in the country, that placed VMHS in the top 1% of 19,000 marching bands in the entire country this season. The win also qualified the band for the Bands of America Grand National Championships.

At the Bands of America Grand National Championships held in November at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Vista Murrieta competed against 100 of the finest bands in the nation. After making it to the semi-finals, they missed making it to the finals by less than one point. Overall, they placed14th in the nation and they were the only band in the nation to receive the Al Castronovo Memorial

Esprit de Corps Award for the second time. The award recognizes the band that best exemplifies pride, spirit, enthusiasm, friendliness, and unity of purpose. The band first received the award at the Grand National Championships in 2008.

“We couldn’t be more proud of how the kids performed both on and off of the field,” said Band Director Donald Wade, “while it is our band kids out there performing, our success is a culmination of support from one of the best parent booster clubs anywhere, our school and school administration, district administration, and our community as a whole!

This year 350 students are involved in the school’s the instrumental music program representing one out of every 10 students at the school. Vista Murrieta offers four levels of concert band, three levels of jazz band, two levels of percussion, Pep band, Chamber ensembles, three levels of winter color guards, Varsity Marching Band and JV Marching Band.